By: Grace Carr
Thousands of Americans are googling how to self-induce abortions, a finding that is not unimportant during a period when conservatives and liberals are warring over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and how he or she will affect a decision to preserve or overturn Roe v. Wade.
Roughly 700,000 women googled how to self-induce an abortion in 2015, according to research from data scientists Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, ABC News reported Monday. Those searches included phrases like “buy abortion pills online” and “free abortion pills,” according to The New York Times.
A Guttmacher Institute February 2018 report found that there were over 200,000 searches on Google in May 2017 related to self-induced abortions.
“People tell Google things that they don’t tell other people,” Stephens-Davidowitz said, according to ABC News. “Many people may not admit to other people they are looking into a self-induced abortion,” he added.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion organizations have touted online abortion searches and testaments of women who’ve attempted to induce abortions with their own hand as evidence that abortion should be legal for every woman around the world so that unsafe “coat hanger” abortions do not persist.
“The Internet can be a valuable resource for young people, but it can also be a source of misinformation,” Guttmacher policy expert Heather Boonstra cautioned in the February report. “Young people should have access to accurate and comprehensive information about how to safely end an unwanted pregnancy from a range of sources, including health care providers, schools and trusted adults.”
The lead author of the Guttmacher’s 2018 report also noted that “self-managed abortion is notoriously difficult to study.”
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